There was a slew of measures rolled out on Tuesday as part of the Singapore Budget 2020.
With so many measures rolled out, I decided to create a quick summary to highlight what is relevant for Millennials and exactly how these policies are going to benefit us.
This summary would be useful for anyone who just wants to know exactly how the Singapore Budget 2020 would benefit them.
I hope that it would save you time from watching the entire 2 hours 18 minutes speech or sieving through all the different news articles online.
1. You get $500 more for your Skillsfuture Credit
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would probably know of the SkillsFuture Credit which aims to encourage individual ownership of skills development and lifelong learning.
Singaporeans aged 25 and above this year will receive a one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of S$500. This is in addition to the original sum of $500 which was given to us in 2015.
This would be rolled out on 1 October 2020 and expire in 2025.
If you are keen to see which courses are elligible, you may go to the Course Directory here.
2. You get a cash payout of at least $100
To help us cope with the cost of living, all of us who are aged 21 and above will also qualify for a one-off cash payout of S$300, S$200 and S$100.
This cash payout scheme is part of a $1.6 billion Care and Support package to help families defray some of their household expenses amid the downturn.
The amount you get depends on two factors – income and/or property ownership.
|Assessable Income for Year of Assessment 2019||$0 to $28,000||$28,001 to $100,000||More than $100,000, or owns more than one property|
|Care and Support – Cash||$300||$200||$100|
|Additional cash for parents*||+$100|
3. You get more chances to intern abroad if you’re a student
The government has set a “70-70” target – they want 70 percent of local ITE, Polytechnic and University students to have overseas exposure, and 70 percent of the exposure to be in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China or India
This is part of the Global Ready Talent Programme which was launched in October 2019, combining current and local overseas internship programmes, with more funding support for students interning overseas with Singapore firms.
In my view, this is an excellent move that can help futureproof our youth. Singapore is a regional hub where many MNCs and startups locate their APAC Headquarters and leverage us as a launchpad to ASEAN, India and Greater China.
By having such internships, we are equipping young adults with the cultural knowledge to engage these markets; network and the chance to challenge ourselves by working abroad.
I hope that this program can also be extended to Singaporeans studying at private universities to boost their employability and give them the same opportunities to develop themselves.
Further Reading: How to save money while traveling this holiday season?
4. You get to save on utilities bill & town council fees
The government will also double the amount of rebate for utility expenses that eligible HDB dwellers get, via a one-off GST Voucher – U-Save Special Payment.
For example, a family living in a 4 room flat gets $320 a year through the regular GSTV-U-Save rebate. With the new one-off voucher, they get another $320, making it a total of $640 a year!
Given that my utilities bill is between $30-$40 each month, with this voucher, I can get free electricity and water for the entire year
To check how much savings you can get, you may refer to this table below
|HDB Flat Type||Regular GSTV – U-Save||GSTV – U-Save Special Payment||Additional GSTV – U-Save rebate||Total GSTV – U-Save for FY2020|
|For all eligible households||For eligible larger households|
|1- and 2-room||$400||+$400||+$200||$800 or $1,000|
|3-room||$360||+$360||+$180||$720 or $900|
|4-room||$320||+$320||+$160||$640 or $800|
|5-room||$280||+$280||+$140||$560 or $700|
|Executive / Multi-Generation||$240||+$240||+$120||$480 or $600|
Besides the one-time cash payout, the Government will also extend the service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebate, of between 1.5 and 3.5 months, by another year.
For example, those living in three- and four-room flats get 2.5 months in the S&CC rebate, while those living in five-room flats get two months!
|HDB Flat Type||No. of months of S&CC Rebate in FY2020|
|April 2020||July 2020||October 2020||January 2021||Total for FY2020|
|1- and 2-room||1||1||1||0.5||3.5|
|3- and 4-room||1||0.5||0.5||0.5||2.5|
|Executive / Multi-Generation||0.5||0.5||0.5||–||1.5|
5. You get a greener and more sustainable future
Many environmental policies were also rolled out during the Singapore Budget 2020. This does not impact us directly now but it definitely impacts our future given that we will inherit this earth, along with the environmental issues that come with it.
Here is a summary of some of the measures being introduced:
A. To get motorists to switch to electric vehicles, buyers of fully electric cars and taxis will get a rebate of up to 45 per cent on the Additional Registration Fee (ARF), capped at $20,000. This will be given for three years, starting January next year. Tax on electric vehicles and some hybrid ones will also be lower, as the tax methodology for cars will be revised from next January.
B. The Government will also deploy up to 28,000 public charging points for electric vehicles, up from the current 1,600. This will be done by 2030.
C. A new Green Towns Programme will be introduced to help Housing Board estates reduce energy consumption, recycle rainwater and cool the towns. New HDB developments will have around 45 – 60 percent green cover, including tree cover that provides canopy shade, under its previously introduced greenery provision guidelines.
Moving forward, I also hope that measures will be put in place to reduce plastic waste in hawker centres and schools and perhaps to also introduce a plastic bag charge.
Ending off, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the civil servants and taxpayers in Singapore (most working adults basically) who came up with and funded all these policies for Singaporeans respectively. 🙂
I comment regularly about issues impacting Millennials such as finding fulfilling jobs; coping with our high cost of living and giving back to our society. Should you wish to stay updated on my posts, you can follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.